Build over ocean to solve Last Chance Grade issue
After reading the recent article about Caltrans finishing the latest round of repairs for the Last Chance Grade ("Highway's trouble spot is costly," March 5), I dug into my box of uncompleted letters to the editor and found one related to a similar Triplicate article from Feb. 14, 2009.
That article stated, "Officials are resigned to the fact that Last Chance Grade will fall into the ocean. They say it's not a question of if it will happen, but when."
Since moving here in 1985, I have made friends with many people that grew up here in the 1930s and '40s. Several of these folks lost family members on both the old highway and the current one.
There were plans researched at one time for going deeper inland: What happened? Geology? Opposition Groups? My point, or question, is this: Please, will someone at Caltrans tell me if the obvious (to me) third option for dealing with the problems associated with the construction and maintenance of a highway through the unstable terrain between Crescent City and the Klamath area has been studied in the past and found to be unworkable or cost prohibitive.
If you can let your imagination run wild long enough, imagine a structure similar to the harbor breakwater, running between the south end of South Beach and the lagoon area just north of Trees of Mystery. Yes, out in the ocean. Imagine that this structure is more than 50 feet above sea level (30 feet higher than the harbor breakwater), running roughly parallel to the beach (500-1,000 feet off shore, making maybe a thousand acres of salt marsh/wetlands) and wide enough for two lanes in each direction, a center median, and utility right-of-ways.
If your mind is still open, the material needed for this project might be found either close by (bluffs) or from straightening out Highway 199 (literally move the mountain, in pieces of course).
The southern end of existing Endert's Beach Road (old highway) ends at a point that is above 50 feet elevation. This would be the northern land/sea transition point. The southern transition point would be about half a mile north of Trees of Mystery, reducing back down to one lane in each direction and speeds reduced for safe access to Klamath tourist attractions.
Allowances could be made for tidal flows with maybe one bridge at the south end. Environmental changes would occur, no doubt. Safety, long-term economics and jobs.
Randy Butcher, Crescent City
More important issues than grandstanding vote
This is my response to the criticism of supervisors Martha McClure and David Finigan's abstaining or unenthusiastic vote for the grandstanding resolution of Supervisor Roger Gitlin in support of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
I'd also be less than enthusiastic about taking time to listen and vote for such a redundant waste of time, which accomplishes nothing. There are many more important issues to discuss and deal with during these meetings.
You might have responded the same way when being boxed in the corner by the Tea Party advocate! What will it be next, resolutions for the Northwest Ordinance, or a proclamation of "Remember the Maine?"
Let's not waste the supervisors' time on inane, unnecessary resolutions.
Richard Wendt, Klamath